There is just no way that I could review books excellent for summer reading and not include Forever, by Pete Hamill. If you like historical fiction, are a fan of New York City, and ever wondered what the city was like 250 years ago, this is your book. Forever is one of those books that I recommend to people all the time, and have given twice as a gift.
Forever takes place in Manattan, and chronicles the life of a man named Cormac O’Connor who was given the gift of immortaility by an African shaman. But this gift comes with a price; O’Connor would never be able to leave the island of Manhattan until he found the mysterious dark lady with the tattoo.
Reading Forever, I experienced the transformation and modernization of New York City over a period of 200 years. The story is rich with history, culture, lifestyle and the constant battle between good and evil. The attention to detail of how printing presses and newspapers were run is as incredible as the description of the development of the water system. The history of Manhattan, the challenges of what it would mean to live forever, and the transformation of a man with his city are beautifully woven into this story.
Hamill is the former editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News, and author of the autobiographical A Drinking Life, another favorite of mine that I recommend almost as often as Forever. New York City is clearly a favorite location for Hamill in his novels. His latest book, Tabloid City, is currently sitting on a bookshelf in my stack of books to read. Here is his synopsis of Tabloid City: